"To all our facebook fans, friends, family, and supporters, we are sad to announce that Hacienda will be closed for regular daily business, effective today. We will be open periodically for private parties and events. Thank you for all the good times, amazing pool parties, fun taco tuesdays, and for allowing us to be a part of the culture of Palm Springs. Thank you to our staff, DJs, event clients, and regulars. We love you all."
If this is true it would raise questions about the $250,000 loan made by the City of Palm Springs to the owner, Rich Meany, under the terms of which the loan must be repaid in full should the business close within three years. Controversy surrounded Meany after the opening of the Hacienda, with a number of contractors remaining unpaid after the Hacienda opened and legal action being taken by them to obtain payment. It was reported that some but not all had been repaid, leaving open the question of whether the funds exist to repay the loan if it has to be repaid.
It is likely that this closure whether or not the loan repayment is triggered, (it might be argued that as it is still operating "for private parties and events" then the loan does not have to be repaid as the business is still in operation), will raise yet more questions about the viability and efficacy of the City's Economic Development program.
Some eyebrows will also be raised over the timing, coming as it does less than a week after Cllr. Foat lost in the city's Mayoral election, there having been significant concerns expressed about ties between the City's politicians and developers, especially Mr. Meany and outgoing Mayor, Steve Pougnet a close friend of Cllr. Foat.
The closure of the Hacienda for regular business will come as a great disappointment to many people in South Palm Springs who have been enjoying the gradual revitalization of their area. For others though, particularly those who opposed the granting of an extension to play music at later hours, it may come as something of a relief. However, the closure of a new business in the area, one which had taken a long-abandoned and disused building and brought it back into use can be viewed as nothing other than a setback for all, including myself, who want to see South Palm Springs rejuvenated.